The Bradford Bulls team that takes to the field against Barrow Raiders at Craven Park tonight will be completely different from the side that lost to Halifax just three days ago.

The Bulls were defeated 20-16 at Odsal in the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup and they’ll be playing a youthful side as a result of their short turnaround for this 1895 Cup.

Bradford coach John Kear has thrown down the gauntlet to the fringe players in his squad, who will be up against a strong Raiders line-up.

Kear told the Telegraph and Argus: “The team will not feature anyone who played on Sunday. It’s not fair to ask them to back up.

“If the RFL want to ring me up, I’ll give them the reasons.

“If Super League teams can’t play on a Sunday and then a Thursday, which I believe is an unwritten rule, I don’t see why I should make my players, many of whom are part-time, to go Sunday and Wednesday. You’ve got to look after your players – and have faith in your squad.

“For that reason, we’ll travel to Barrow with a considerable number of changes. But it’s still a team I feel pretty excited about.

“People will get opportunities to displace the more established players within the squad. I’m looking forward to that.”

Ashley Gibson is set to feature in his first outing for more than two months. The injury-hit centre has been limited to only five appearances this season up to now – the last when the Bulls began their Challenge Cup run at Keighley at the end of March.

He will be the old head in a youthful line-up as the Bulls make their debut in the knockout competition set up for clubs outside Super League.

Kear added: “This was always the plan for Ash to play in this game. It will be fascinating to see a very strong Barrow team, who played really well in their last outing and will be ready for us travelling up to Cumbria.

“But we’ll be ready for them with a very young and enthusiastic squad with plenty to prove.”